Integrative Medicine is a novel approach to health care that engages both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership dedicated to optimizing the patient’s health and healing. Its aim is to integrate modern technology with traditional values in treating the patient as a whole, recognizing that the subtle interactions of mind, body, spirit and community have a direct impact on vitality and well-being.1
Functional medicine is a subset of integrative medicine that is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.
Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. Hallmarks of a functional medicine approach include:
All copy defining functional medicine is from the IFM. ©2008 The Institute for Functional Medicine www.functionalmedicine.org.
Also as seen on Dr. Mark Hyman’s Website, chairman of the IFM.